Summary: What can I expect to see happen when I am generous? Obviously, the financial need will be met, but is there more beyond that? This passage points to 7 results.
THE RESULT OF MY GENEROSITY? We usually presume the only result of my generosity is that a need gets met.
- There is a need expressed, someone gives, and so that need gets met. Game over, end of story, right?
- We’ve been digging for weeks now into chapter 9, which has so much to teach about generosity. Now, as we come to the last installment, Paul focuses on the results on our generosity.
- As you can see from the outline, there’s obviously a lot more than one point tonight. Let’s look at what all Paul sees resulting from our generosity.
WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF MY GENEROSITY?
1. Needs supplied.
- 2 Corinthians 9:12a – “supplying the needs of God’s people.”
- The first result is the obvious one and the one we’ve already mentioned: needs are met.
- This is obvious, but we should not overlook the importance of it. We all have times when we’re down – either individually, as a church, or even as a nation. In those moments, we need others to give us a hand up.
- Specifically, this passage speaks of God’s people, so we can put an emphasis the support we’re supposed to give our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are called as believers to be generous in sharing the financial resources we have with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
2. Thankful hearts.
- 2 Corinthians 9:12b – “is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”
- Their generosity did a lot more than meet a need. The next thing that’s noted is that it led to many thankful hearts.
- When we find ourselves in a dire situation and then we have a need met, it’s obvious that our hearts are going to overflow in thanksgiving. We’re just incredibly grateful.
- It’s important to note that the thanksgiving here is directed toward God. Even though we are the ones who met the need, it’s entirely appropriate that the thankfulness goes toward God because we are acting at His command and in His love.
3. The giver’s maturity is proven.
- 2 Corinthians 9:13a – “Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves.”
- The first two are ones that you might have thought of if I’d asked everyone for suggestions for what might be on this list. The third one, though, not so much.
- Paul tells the Corinthians that their generosity (which is what he means by “service”) has provided proof of their spiritual maturity.
- Now, certainly, giving financially is not the only proof of spiritual maturity, but, just as certainly, it is almost always a sign of someone who is spiritually mature.
4. Praise to God for your life.
- 2 Corinthians 9:13b – “men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ.”
- When we give generously to those in need, people will look at our lives and our generosity and praise God for our lives (specifically, our obedience).
- This is a powerful thought: I can live my life in such a way that people will praise God for how I live. That’s amazing.
5. Praise to God for your generosity.
- 2 Corinthians 9:13c – “men will praise God . . . for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.”
- People will also praise God for your generosity. Again, this is interesting because we are doing the actions, but God is getting the credit. That’s justified, though, because we are doing it in God’s name. Further, because the Bible teaches us we are stewards of the money we have, we are ultimately using God’s money.
- Again, it’s encouraging that we can live our life in a way that gives glory to God.
- Also, as we have talked about multiple times in chapter 9, this is a reminder that our generosity is an expected part of our walk with Christ.
6. Heartfelt prayers for you.
- 2 Corinthians 9:14a – “And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you.”
- We receive prayers from those who have received our help. Why? Because they’re thankful for us and we now have that connection. They want to pray for us because of our financial partnership with them.
- Most of us would say, “We’ll take all the prayer we can get.” It’s encouraging to know that we will benefit from their prayers.
- Now, I think it’s tempting to think here that it’s an unfair exchange. They’re getting cold, hard cash and we’re only getting prayers back in return? Two things. One, of course, we aren’t giving generously for anything we can get back, but rather just because the need exists and we want to obey Christ. Two, let’s not undersell prayer or oversell money. It’s a big deal to have someone interceding in prayer for you. We should appreciate that return gift.